The importance of water to natural gas production cannot be overstated. Over the past year, we’ve explored water management in a general sense and onsite water management with companies like Keystone Clearwater. This month, Jason Reed and John Neville of TekSolv help us understand the dynamics of freshwater withdrawal and storage and the process of getting that water into tankers for use in well development operations.
Jason has worked with TekSolv since 2013, when the company took on the local business interests of another company for whom he worked. He currently serves as general manager, traveling the highways of Pennsylvania and beyond. John is a field supervisor who oversees at least nine sites in Susquehanna and Wyoming counties. They met us at the Clark Water Withdrawal, which can move up to two million gallons of freshwater per day for nearby operations.
“We provide design build services – everything from electronics to automation,” Jason explained. TekSolv employs HydroWatch, a fully automated water withdrawal system that utilizes a PLC (programmable logic controller) that reports real-time water movement to their headquarters and ours via a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.
The Clark Withdrawal was already a busy place when TekSolv came on board. But water was withdrawn from a nearby stream with gasoline-powered pumps, and several employees were required to maintain hand-written logs of tanker fill-ups that were filed at our offices and reconciled monthly. “What we’ve done is taken all of that and automated it,” said Jason. TekSolv installed underground pumps and pipes that send the water to a freshwater impoundment 100 feet above the paved area where the drivers enter and pull up to the filling stations. Each site is unique, however. At some locations, the pump is built into the command trailer and water is stored in large tanks at ground level. Much like a self-serve gas station, drivers hook up, punch in their company and truck numbers, and the computers do the rest.
“It is not uncommon to put hundreds of trucks through these sites in a day,” Jason noted. “It depends on how much water they need and where they need it.” At our end, the streaming data is monitored by Coterra water manager Robert Gorczyk. “Sites like this report back to Rob, from which he can view data and make adjustments,” said Jason. It usually takes eight or nine minutes to fill a tanker, he cited as an example. “If Rob sees that it’s taking 15 minutes, there might be a problem.”
TekSolv also provides a crucial service for Coterra by supporting compliance with state and federal regulations, including those overseen by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which, in turn work with agencies such as the PA Game Commission and PA Fish and Boat Commission to ensure that our water usage has no negative impacts on the environment and wildlife. “Whatever makes the trout and deer happy,” John said proudly.
Once construction of a water withdrawal operation is completed, TekSolv provides routine and emergency maintenance, which includes winter freeze control and moving equipment like the command trailer out of harm’s way during high water events. John visits sites daily regardless of the weather to ensure the efficiency of the equipment and to keep the water moving.
Jason told us that he is impressed with the quality of our water sites, including solid pavement and routine clearing of dead trees and overgrowth. John likes how we engage and maintain good relationships with landowners and other neighbors.
We at Coterra are grateful that we’ve found yet another industry partner that shares our goals and work ethic and we look forward to a long relationship with TekSolv. It’s no surprise to us that they continue to win awards for excellence in health and safety and that they are ranked as one of the fastest growing private companies for providing professional service solutions for industrial markets.